In early March, a Program Manager at Amazon joins a group of makers in Washington State, which prints 3D facial protection for medical workers engaged in the fight against COVID-19. After a couple of months, the project took on quite different dimensions: 10,000 those already donated to healthcare personnel, another 20,000 arriving within the next few weeks.
The group has developed its own design and is putting together its own face shield in their office. Amazon employees also asked for help from Prime Air and Amazon’s team to perfect the face shield design.
The team improved the quality of the materials to allow them to be reusable, added an enhanced snap feature to keep the shield in place to make them safer, amended the geometry to reduce sharp edges that could snag clothing or hair, thinned the forehead band to reduce pressure on a person’s forehead, and drastically improved print time making them quicker to manufacture. This will make the product lightweight and comfortable to wear.
This design was approved by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and has been made publicly available so that it can be replicated by anyone with a simple 3D printer.
“Because of the design innovations and the capabilities of our supply chain, we are confident we will be able to list them at a significantly lower price – almost a third of the cost – than all other reusable face shields currently available to frontline workers,” Amazon wrote.
Amazon also said this face shield would be prioritized for medical workers and afterward will be available to general consumers.